What is a healthy diet?
Consuming a healthy diet throughout the lifecourse helps prevent malnutrition in all its forms as well as a range of noncommunicable diseases and conditions. But the increased production of processed food, rapid urbanization and changing lifestyles have led to a shift in dietary patterns. People are now consuming more foods high in energy, fats, free sugars or salt/sodium, and many do not eat enough fruit, vegetables and dietary fibre such as whole grains.
The exact make-up of a diversified, balanced and healthy diet will vary depending on individual needs (e.g. age, gender, lifestyle, degree of physical activity), cultural context, locally available foods and dietary customs. But basic principles of what constitute a healthy diet remain the same.
What are dietary guidelines?
Food-based dietary guidelines (also referred to as dietary guidelines) are short, science-based, positive messages on healthy eating and lifestyles aimed at preventing all forms of malnutrition and keeping people well-nourished and healthy. They embody national nutrition recommendations and express the principles of nutrition education in terms of food.